The American Dental Association, like many oral hygiene bodies around the globe, recommends cleaning between teeth at least once per day. Generally, this is done using a strand of dental floss to get into the small gaps that toothbrushes just can't reach. Though important, it does take time. What if you could floss all your teeth in one bite? That's what Blizzident is promising with its 3D-Flosser.
In 2013, Blizzident released a tailored toothbrush design which looked like a mouth guard that had melted in a microwave oven, and was claimed to give teeth a full and complete clean in just 6 seconds.
Before folks could get their funny-looking toothbrush though, they would need to visit a dentist to get a 3D scan or impression made. This would be sent to Blizzident, and a 3D-printed "negative" of the teeth produced, and lined with angled bristles. Brushing was then a simple matter of biting up and down, and having a good old grind.
The pre-production process for the 3D-Flosser is similar. Once Blizzident receive a customer's 3D scan, a user-specific frame is made. Four rolls of dental floss in the grip are fed through channels in the frame so that each gap in a user's teeth is covered by a short strand of floss. All a rapid flosser has to do is bite down on the frame, and the floss slides between the teeth to a depth of around 2 mm. Job done.
After flossing, the user pulls the used part of the floss out through the frame and cuts it off with the integrated blade. As the old floss is pulled out, new floss is fed through from the spools in the grip – Blizzident told us that the channels have been optimized to reduce friction between the floss and the frame, and "to keep the floss safely and precisely in place while flossing."
Floss spools are reported to last about 500 cleans, after which rolls can be replaced. The 3D-printed frame has been designed to last indefinitely, though the company admits that "you can never rule out a break, it is plastic. Our intention is 'infinite,' and we would further optimize it if a break occurred. The forces applied to it are not small."
Blizzident reckons that dental scans will cost in the region of US$75 - $100, so this will need to be factored into the overall cost of the 3D-Flosser – which is priced at $199. The order books are open now, with shipping taking around 4 weeks.
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